Kickstarter is a new model for bringing creative projects to life. Compared with other funding models — film studios, grant-makers, publishers, venture capitalists — there are fewer barriers to entry, and a greater opportunity to take risks on new ideas. Creators from diverse backgrounds, at every level of experience from across the creative universe, can find backing for their ideas.
It’s a powerful model — billions of dollars pledged, tens of thousands of successfully produced projects, Oscar and Grammy wins, trips to outer space, and beyond. But how many projects fall short of delivering what was promised? It’s a question many have speculated on, but we want to know for sure.
In March 2015, we invited a scholar from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to help answer this question. Professor Ethan Mollick is an expert in entrepreneurship and innovation who developed an independent study surveying nearly 500,000 backers about project outcomes and backer sentiment.
This is the largest study to ever examine the Kickstarter community. We had no influence over its findings. Before research began, Wharton and Kickstarter agreed that we would co-publish the results, whatever was found.
Kickstarter has also funded a journalist to write about the largest European failed project. You have to admire the transparency and desire to improve the process.